Opelika Chiefs looking to return to championship form - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Opelika Chiefs looking to return to championship form

Opelika Chiefs practicing (Source: Andrew McDevitt/WTVM) Opelika Chiefs practicing (Source: Andrew McDevitt/WTVM)
OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) -

During their first season in the Extreme Southern Football League, the Opelika Chiefs were set to host the championship game following an impressive regular season - but then their season came to an abrupt end.  

The Chiefs were accused of paying their players, something prohibited in semi pro football.  Following these allegations, the Chiefs were forced out of the ESFL before having a chance to play for a championship. 

Other opportunities quickly presented themselves. Head Coach Hunter Price said that they received calls from four different leagues after being kicked out of the ESFL.  Ultimately they decided to join the APDFL, trading in a league with eight teams for one with 33.  

The Chiefs used being kicked out of the ESFL as motivation heading into their fresh start in the APDFL. 

“I think all it did was motivate us to be where we are at right now.  We had to options we could us it as a stumbling block or stepping stone, and we were able to use it as a stepping stone to prepare to where we are at right now, in a bigger and better league by far,” said Coach Price.  

His players have very similar mindsets.

"Really it is something that we all love to do, last year it hurt everybody’s heart but we came back out here. We do it because we love it and we do it for the community of Opelika,” said Zayquan Roulhac, second year wide receiver.

Their talk has been backed up thus far this season.  The Chiefs have started 5-0 and are ranked 4th in the league. This weekend is their biggest game yet - they are set to take on the number two ranked Capital City Cobras.  

With both teams undefeated, you can imagine the hype going into this game. However, the Chiefs' star quarterback Kyle Caldwell says it is business as usual.

“We take each team like they are undefeated so we don’t want to overlook anybody, it's kind of disrespectful, we want to be respected so we respect every other team," Caldwell said. "It's just another game we are going to prepare like it’s the team we played last week."

It is that mentality that has positioned them as the fourth ranked team in the league set to compete for a title, an opportunity that was taken away from them just one year ago.  

The game against the Cobras will be Saturday night at 7 p.m. CST at Beulah High School.  All fans are encouraged to wear black for the Chiefs' annual blackout game.  

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